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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for January 2014

Cleaning House

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1 completed task is better than the best intention

1 completed task is better than the best intention

It is a New Year and what better time than now to “clean house” in your business.  On a personal basis, many people make New Year’s resolutions so why not do one for your business?  Unlike personal resolutions to lose weight or start an exercise program let’s set a resolution to do one thing better in 2014.

My call to action for you today is for you to respond with a comment on this blog by stating what you decided as your house cleaning project.  I suggest you identify three things that you need to improve upon and then choose the easiest of the three to accomplish.  That might seem like an easy bar to clear but I am a firm believer that the smallest accomplishment is better than the best intention.

In case you are stuck for ideas let me list some that might apply to a wide variety of small business owners.

  • Pick the process the your company spends the most time doing and ask people involved with it how it can be streamlined without sacrificing safety, quality or other existing safeguards.  This might be a manufacturing process or an office task such as processing receivables or payables.
  • Increase utilization of all company owned assets.  If there is unused or obsolete equipment or inventory on the books it is costing you space and in states with personal property taxes it can be costing you additional taxes.   Dispose of this and better organize your warehouse or production area.  In some cases you may save on insurance if the assets you dispose of had significant value.  Proceeds from disposal will aid cash flow.  This also goes for building or office space – consider leasing them or sub-leasing if you are renting.
  • Consider going paperless or at least make an effort.  The technology is making it easier to do than ever and you save on toner costs, paper costs and also save space for storage. Information retrieval will save time which of course is money.  If you begin invoicing customers electronically it will save envelope stuffing time, postage, stationary costs and customers will receive their invoices quicker which can get you in the payment queue faster.
  • Assess your credit granting practices.  Yes, this is a difficult task with your customers but it will improve cash flow, lower interest expense and reduce bad debts.  Be the squeaky wheel that gets paid first.
  • Improve the customer experience to keep them coming back and asking for more.  It is far cheaper to keep an existing customer than acquiring a new one.  In conjunction with this when hiring new employees stress customer service so eventually the company culture will be customer service oriented.

Perhaps one of these items will be a good way for you to clean house.  I look forward to hearing about your house cleaning ideas.  Have a great week sweeping out the old bad ways and starting a new better way of doing things.  I call it; Turning Things On End To Achieve Results!

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Written by pacelinebiz

January 27, 2014 at 8:01 am

If I Were King Of The Forest…

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King Of The Forest

King Of The Forest

It is New Year’s Eve as I write this and I am thinking about what I would like to happen in 2014.  This got me to thinking about what it would like if I were King.  That thought made me think of the title of today’s blog. It happens to be a song from one of my favorite movies – The Wizard of Oz. Click on the link below to see the scene in its entirety on YouTube in its newly re-mastered glory.

Click here

If I were King…

  • I would appoint Jimmy Sad Eyes as my royal side kick and exempt him from taking a bath every week.  Read more about Jimmy here, here and here.
  • I would have my subjects work on only the most important research projects and pay them handsomely to figure out a way to make bacon taste as good as ever with zero calories.
  • I would limit internet browsing to only 30 minutes of stupid stuff every day.  I would enforce that on all in my Kingdom including myself. Do I really need to go back to the 1977 baseball schedule to see how many doubleheaders were played in September by the Pittsburgh Pirates?  What about reading a good portion of the 409 page Mitchell report on steroids in baseball? Read the dirt here
  • I would incentivize all in my kingdom to spend a half hour a day doing some sort of exercise outside at an age appropriate level.  Each week everyone who met the goal would be registered for a drawing to win a sack of gold from the Treasury.
  • I would create a holiday that required everyone to go to work and not use their email, instant message, text services or telephones which would allow everyone to get a in good productive 8 hour day at the office.  On this holiday, I would require a 1 hour lunch break that had to be taken at an off-site restaurant.  Anyone having bacon with their lunch would get a royal commendation.
  • Shaving for men on Friday’s would be optional (and the equivalent thing for women would also be optional).
  • I would make a proclamation banning Royal proclamations.
  • I would arrange for an hour long block of time on the Royal TV network showing all the funny moments from Saturday Night Live since 1997.  For the 59 minutes remaining, I would show a Magnum PI episode.

As you can see it is a good thing I am not King.  Have great week daydreaming about what you would do.

Written by pacelinebiz

January 20, 2014 at 8:01 am

Start The Year On An Upward Spiral

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I see this going up

I see this going up

When you are trying to grow your business, solve a problem for a client, or tackle any number of issues that confront you as a small business owner; recognize that you may not be able to overcome the problem.  Yes, you might fail.

Today, I want to remind you that there are things that you can’t fix due to factors outside of your control which will make it impossible for you to succeed.  Imagine how a banker felt trying to make a loan in 2009 during the financial crisis. This thought came to me recently as I was daydreaming. Apparently my mind was working in the background and this fact bubbled up to the forefront of my consciousness.

What I am saying is there are problems that are too big for you or any ONE individual to solve and you need to try your best to recognize when this is happening.   Putting it another way, try to focus on things you can control and look for the best alternative solution to fix a problem outside of your capabilities.  Half a loaf of bread is better than none at all.  I think I have frustrated myself many times trying to do the impossible.  In 2014, I am going to resolve to do my best to recognize when I am facing a no win situation and settle for the best possible solution I can provide.

I think this will result in some positive things.

  • I will not waste my time on the impossible
  • I will feel much better about myself since I will not have to own the failure of doing the impossible
  • Success in doing what I can accomplish may lead to a breakthrough (eating the elephant one bite at a time)
  • The above 3 items will build momentum and more time working with a positive attitude will lead to an upward rather than a downward spiral

Have a great week succeeding at things within your control and recognizing when you face a problem out of your control.  I hope I can carry this idea forward in 2014 and hope you can to. 

Written by pacelinebiz

January 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

Opie Turns 60 This Year!

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Opie is this many

Opie is this many

To some of you that may shock and surprise you and make you feel old.  To others you may ask; “who is Opie?” and that will make me feel old.  At the start of this year why not take a frivolous look at who hits the Big Six-O in 2014.

Here is my hand-picked list with my comments.

  • Al Sharpton – I would have never guessed he was only 60.  It seems like he has been in the news for as long as I can remember.  DOB 10/3/54
  • Denzel Washington – He’s looking good for 60 and he is still making big bucks.  More power to you – old man.
  • John Travolta – Vinnie Barbarino turns 60; that is somehow believable to me.
  • Dennis Quaid – I only mention him because he was in one my favorite movies – A bicycling movie called Breaking Away.
  • Chris Noth – He was in Law and Order when it first started and is now on the TV show The Good Wife.
  • James Belushi – The younger brother of John Belushi who would have been 65 this year.  James did pretty well for himself in my opinion.
  • Scott Bakula – I only mention him because he was in a favorite TV show of mine from the late 80’s Called Quantum Leap.
  • Dennis Haysbert – The deep voiced actor on the Allstate commercials.  He can take over doing the voice of Darth Vader for James Earl Jones if needed.
  • Oprah Winfrey – She’s famous, rich and about to be 60.  That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Wow, I wonder if he ever grew up?
  • Barry Williams – TV’s Greg Brady is 60.  Think about that.
  • John O’Hurley – Elaine’s boss from Seinfeld, J. Peterman is 60.  I figured he was older than that for some reason.  Sorry Mr. O’Hurley.
  • Elvis Costello and David Lee Roth – Rockers turning 60 this year.  Hey Hey My My…
  • Al Roker – Only 60?  Another one that baffles me.  I had him pegged for 65 at least.  My Apologies Al.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year.

Written by pacelinebiz

January 6, 2014 at 8:01 am